There are over 100 state parks in Washington, and every last one of them has a unique appeal. But while many Washingtonians flock to our
more popular parks in the summertime, some of them manage to stay under the radar. These are a few underrated gems you can explore on your next park day.
1. Penrose Point State Park, Lakebay
Located at the head of Mayo Cove on the east side of the Key Peninsula, Penrose Point State Park is a peaceful little oasis. Crabbing and saltwater fishing are popular here, and the views of Mt. Rainier on clear days can't be beat.
2. Squawk Mountain State Park, Issaquah
If you enjoy hiking but you don't want to venture too far from the city, Squawk Mountain will seem like a little piece of paradise. Not only are there 13 miles of trails to explore, but the views are spectacular.
3. Columbia Plateau State Park Trail, Eastern Washington
This scenic 130-mile trail is part of the state park system, and it's a great way to experience the unique beauty of Eastern Washington. The trail begins in Cheney, running along the abandoned right-of-way of the former Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway to the confluence of the Snake and Columbia rivers near Pasco.
4. Columbia Hills State Park, Vallesport
Unless you're very familiar with the Columbia River Gorge area, you may have no idea this beautiful park exists. Located just outside of Lyle on the site of a former Native American village, this 3,300-acre camping park is surrounded by freshwater shoreline.
5. Kopachuck State Park , Gig Harbor
Kopachuck State Park is a 109-acre marine park with the most stunning views of the Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains ever. It's a popular place for foraging for seashells, and the sunsets are amazing.
6. Twanoh State Park, Belfair
Equal parts scenic and historic, Twanoh State Park is a great place to enjoy the Hood Canal. You'll find one of the warmest saltwater beaches in the entire state here, not to mention buildings from the 1930s and a scenic hiking trail.
7. Scenic Beach State Park, Seabeck
This peaceful state park was certainly appropriately named. This is another Hood Canal gem, and the locals know it's one of the most romantic spots in the area. Pack a picnic and stay for sunset (or longer, you can camp there as well).
8. Pearrygin Lake State Park, Winthrop
This gorgeous Methow Valley Park is amazing in any season, although it's definitely the most popular in the summertime. Camping is allowed from April to November, and it's a great place for snow sports in the winter.
9. Lake Sylvia State Park, Montesano
This quiet, calm little park is a perfect place for a picnic, fishing, or going for a swim on a warm summer day. It also features 5 miles of hiking trails for those who feel up for some exercise.
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